ShopTalk

Best Tool Bag

VetoProPac OT-MC

I’ve been going on and on for a couple years about my current tool bag, the Veto Tech OT-MC. Its an open-top model that’s compact but packed with features. The OT-MC is made by the now famous VetoProPac brand headquartered in Connecticut [most products made in China, some here in the US]. VetoProPac’s tagline is Read more

I’ve been going on and on for a couple years about my current tool bag, the Veto Tech OT-MC. Its an open-top model that’s compact but packed with features. The OT-MC is made by the now famous VetoProPac brand headquartered in Connecticut [most products made in China, some here in the US].

VetoProPac’s tagline is “Tool Bags That Work”. I have to agree 100%, I have been a Veto owner now for many years, my first bag was a huge OT-XL and its still kicking today. I chose the Tech OT-MC in December of 2017 for one main reason: I needed to lighten the load I was carrying on and off the truck, in and out of client’s houses and office spaces. The OT-MC allowed me to do just that. I must have shed nearly 20lbs of unneeded tools, I say unneeded because I wasn’t using them even once a week in some cases.

Shopping ButtonThe center compartment is a hard plastic bucket if you will, it accepts up to three of Veto’s reposition-able square insert box with lid (the bag includes one) and that’s where I keep larger tools like a copper tubing cutter, PEX cutter, pipe dope and a small socket set. With 28 interior & exterior pockets the VetoProPac Tech OT-MC has a spot for just about anything I need on a daily basis.

Often times during the heating season you’ll see me clipping their meter bag (MB, MB2) on either end via the stainless steel ring on the exterior. The MB/MB2 has my meters and manometer, clipping it onto the outside of the OT-MC immediately converts my setup into a no heat assault weapon.

I’ve used an abused my Vetos. I’m less of a fanboy than I am a true fan; these bags are built to last and last they do. Some of my friends have gone as far as getting Veto tattoos, I’ll just stick to loving my bag for what it does best…keeping me organized and helping me make money.

Pocket Guide for ProPress I remember back when I first started in the trade as an apprentice my first journeyman handed me a Tyler Pipe pocket guide for reference of fitting take-offs, make-ups etc. That was an incredibly useful tool and was nearly worn out by the time I memorized the most used measurements. I Read more

Pocket Guide for ProPress

I remember back when I first started in the trade as an apprentice my first journeyman handed me a Tyler Pipe pocket guide for reference of fitting take-offs, make-ups etc. That was an incredibly useful tool and was nearly worn out by the time I memorized the most used measurements. I may not have a use for that book daily today but I definitely have referenced the Viega pocket guide for ProPress fittings many times over the years.

I would imagine there are printed copies available but I’ve included the link to Viega’s download page for the pocket guide and many other literature items they offer. Plain and simple, the ProPress guide is useful for quick reference of sealing element spec’s, fitting spacing, spacing from existing soldered joints and clearances when soldering near a press fitting.

I hope you find this useful, if you’re not using Viega brand press fittings check with the manufacturer of your preferred brand for similar info.

Viega Download Page: https://bit.ly/2v8J4xq

Also available for your mobile device is Viega’s Toolbox app:

I recently installed the Axiom digital mini feeder system [DMF150] with their Hydronode expansion tank support system. The Axiom DMF150 feeder was used on the #duluthbuild project because the system is filled with propylene glycol for freeze protection. The feeder eliminates the need for a pressure reducing valve and back flow protection because it is Read more

I recently installed the Axiom digital mini feeder system [DMF150] with their Hydronode expansion tank support system.

The Axiom DMF150 feeder was used on the #duluthbuild project because the system is filled with propylene glycol for freeze protection. The feeder eliminates the need for a pressure reducing valve and back flow protection because it is not connected to the potable water.

Axiom System Feeder DMF150 & Hydronode

The DMF150 will maintain a (programmable) upper and lower pressure on the hydronic system. The feeder also has NO/NC contacts for an alarm in the event there is a leak on the system or the tank level is too low. Another cool feature this model has that other brands I’ve used do not would be the easy mount wall bracket. The bracket is screwed to the wall, has to metal tabs that hook into to holes molded into the 4.5 gallon reservoir. The fill port is tilted slightly and in front making it easy to pour into. The digital display is clear and backlit, the included power cord even comes with a wall bracket.

The Hydronode rear/bottom valve connection is the intended connection point for makeup water or a system feeder. Because of the piping layout I chose to connect the feeder as shown to eliminate unwanted piping and fittings. The valve is off and now plugged.

Finally, the Hydronode can be ordered without the valves as well. As shown it ships assembled with three 1/2” ball valves, an manual air vent and a plugged opening gauge port. The Hydronode, like the Flexconsole I have been using for a couple years, provides support and install location flexibility which shaves time off my installs.

In conclusion, I like that and will continue to use these bracket systems for all my installs. Check your supplier for pricing.

Axiom DMF150 System Feeder

Top view showing inlet filter and purge/pump prime valve through tank opening.

Axiom Hydronode

 

Nationwide program throws BFGoodrich support behind America’s skilled trades GREENVILLE, S.C., March 1, 2019 — BFGoodrich® Tires has launched a first-of-its-kind tradesmen support program in the U.S. for the men and women in construction, agriculture, landscaping and other trades that rely heavily on pickup trucks to get work done. This is the first time a tire brand has Read more

Nationwide program throws BFGoodrich support behind America’s skilled trades

GREENVILLE, S.C., March 1, 2019 — BFGoodrich® Tires has launched a first-of-its-kind tradesmen support program in the U.S. for the men and women in construction, agriculture, landscaping and other trades that rely heavily on pickup trucks to get work done.

This is the first time a tire brand has launched such a program for the estimated 30 million skilled trades jobs in the U.S. The BFGoodrich® Tires Tradesmen Support Program will make work easier for tradesmen and women by reducing downtime and costs because of tire and vehicle issues.

BFGoodrich will partner with associations representing a combined 1 million tradesmen in the U.S. in 2019. Members of these trade associations will receive the following from the program:

  • $100 off a set of four BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A® KO2® tires for association members and $70 off for non-association tradesmen and women – a substantial discount on the brand’s toughest all-terrain tire capable of handling virtually any job site.
  • Roadside assistance for two years, with towing up to 150 miles.
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
  • Chances to win VIP experiences to races such as the SCORE BAJA 1000 and the MINT 400.

BFGoodrich is working to offer the Tradesmen Support Program to associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Subcontractors Association.

Members of partner associations receive the largest tire discount, but any tradesmen or women can take part in the program and still receive a significant discount on a set of BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A® KO2® tires and take advantage of the other benefits of the program.

“For the men and women in trades, downtime because of equipment equals lost money. Our All-Terrain KO2 tire is an essential piece of equipment that can withstand the toughest job sites,” said Jessica Parris, BFGoodrich director of consumer communications. “BFGoodrich is putting its support behind this critically important community with our Tradesmen Support Program.”

Tradesmen and women can find out if their association is offering its members the BFGoodrich® Tires Tradesmen Support Program by visiting www.bfgoodrichtires.com/tradesmen. Those who are not members of an association can still access the Tradesmen Support Program by visiting an authorized BFGoodrich® Tires dealer or going to www.bfgoodrichtires.com/tradesmen.

2018 Tool Gift List

Now that the Turkey and Grandma’s famous stuffing is gone its time to start checking off the list for those who were “nice” this year. I’ve put together a short list of tools that we feel would be perfect gifts for just about anyone on the job site. This is not a paid advertisement, these Read more

Now that the Turkey and Grandma’s famous stuffing is gone its time to start checking off the list for those who were “nice” this year. I’ve put together a short list of tools that we feel would be perfect gifts for just about anyone on the job site. This is not a paid advertisement, these are tools we use ourselves and would buy again based on experience and the value we find in them.

Stocking stuffers under $25

C-RHEX™ Dual-Sided Magnetic Hex Drivers $6.99

These are truly 2 bits in-one. Perfect for the service bag or those that prefer to keep the little stuff in their pockets. This bit switches from 1/4″ to 5/16″ hex drive effortlessly. The bonus is being able to clean the magnet easily and go on with your work. Strong enough for install work but they seem to be a better fit for service in my opinion. Totally worth having a couple in your arsenal.

 

Milwaukee Cut 1 Dipped Gloves $2.99

I’ve been wearing these gloves since the spring and I can honestly say these are some of the toughest $3 gloves I’ve ever tried. Dexterity is a must when working with your hands but protection should not be overlooked and these cut level-1 protection gloves offer the best of both worlds. I’ve got as long as two weeks of use out of a single pair. Click the link on the “buy now” pic here for the lowest cost we have found.

OLFA LA-X 18mm Fiberglass Rubber Grip Heavy-Duty Utility Knife $10

These knives are impressive! So impressive we gave away 300 of them to our friends and followers on The Hub. Pair this knife with their super sharp 18mm LBB heavy-duty ultra-sharp black snap-off blade and it will likely be the last knife you ever want to buy. I’d recommend buying a handful, you can never have too many knives around!

“Wrap-able” tools $25 – $$$

Felo Flexible Shaft Bit Holder/Driver $25

This is a game changer. It may seem simple and it is but without this flexible shaft driver I would be scrambling often to figure out and make thing work with less than desirable tools. Do yourself a favor, if you do any type of plumbing or hvac service, buy one and put it in your bag right away. You won’t regret it. Watch a video from my service call showing the driver being used.

Milwaukee M18 Heat Gun $129

Here’s a tool I thought was going to be a dud, or at the very least only somewhat useful but man was I wrong. Its not going to replace a corded heat gun entirely but having it on my truck has proven invaluable. I never have to run a cord because I can do literally every daily job with battery power and this is no exception. Click here or on the pic for the lowest price we have found.

 

PVO1 Pipe Vise Portable Vise $150

This may be my favorite new tool buy of the year! This heavy duty cast iron vise eliminates the fumbling around of two pipe wrenches and helps you finish the job faster, without busted knuckles. The Pipe Vise team consists of long-time plumber and his college age son down in Texas who are putting all their resources into building a useful tool business from the ground up. Not only will you be getting a super useful tool, you’ll also be supporting the American dream. Watch the video here to see what how the pipe vise works.

Makita 36V Right Angle Drill $359(bare tool) – $469(kit)

Long gone are my extension cords. Rough-ins are a breeze without running a cord for this high demand job. I’ve been using this drill for months now and I have nothing but good to say about its power, smoothness and runtime. The 36V capacity not only packs a punch but keeps you working longer between recharge. This is the strongest, smoothest cordless right angle drill on the market. Click here or the pic to find it in stock and at the lowest price we have found yet.

VetoProPac Tech OT-MC $179

If you haven’t owned a Veto then what I’m about to say is worth paying special attention to. Veto Pro Pac tool bags are the best tool bags available. Sure you can buy a less expensive bag but you’ll be getting a lesser bag. There’s no contest here. Buy once and use it for a decade or more, that’s much less expensive than buying a lower cost bag. The OT-MC is my favorite bag ever. It has forced me to cut the clutter and weight but it has made me 10X more organized and a lot more efficient.

I hope this list has been useful, I’ll be sharing more before the end of the year.